MP Materials secures $58.5 million to propel U.S. rare earth magnet manufacturing

Scarlet Ibarra / April 1, 2024 | 12:41
MP Materials awarded $58.5M for US rare earth magnet facility. IRS and Treasury approved after evaluating 250 projects.

The company, has been granted a $58.5 million award to advance the construction of America’s inaugural fully-integrated rare earth magnet manufacturing facility. This Section 48C Advanced Energy Project tax credit was bestowed by the IRS and Treasury after assessing approximately 250 projects for technical, commercial, environmental, and community impacts.

Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, renowned as the world’s most potent and efficient permanent magnets, are essential components in a myriad of applications such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, and defense systems. Anticipated global demand for NdFeB magnets is slated to triple by 2035.

MP Materials initiated the construction of its Fort Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility in April 2022. Presently, the company is producing magnet precursor materials at a North American pilot facility and aims to commence commercial production in Fort Worth by summer, with finished magnets expected by late 2025. These products will be supplied to General Motors, their primary customer, to bolster North American EV production.

Raw materials for the factory will be sourced from Mountain Pass, California, where MP operates America’s sole scaled and operational rare earth mine and separations facility. At the factory, NdPr oxide from Mountain Pass will undergo reduction to NdPr metal and conversion to NdFeB alloy and finished magnets, thereby establishing an end-to-end supply chain with integrated recycling and sustainable practices.

A Section 232 investigation conducted by the Department of Commerce in 2022 highlighted the critical role of sintered NdFeB magnets in infrastructure and defense applications, underscoring the U.S.'s heavy reliance on imports and the associated national security risks. Over 90% of the world’s NdFeB magnets are currently produced in China.

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